Notes by Nectar

Your destiny lies in your own hands

Introduction to Digital Photography: Week 4

on February 7, 2012

Week 4 was our last class of the course. We were told that we’d be doing some editing and to download Adobe Lightroom (the trial version) and to bring our laptops to the class. So I had:

  • my camera
  • tripod
  • laptop
  • handbag

I felt like I was travelling. I felt even worse when I slipped and fell outside Ski Dubai on my way to the class. My first thought was ‘Shit, I hope nobody saw me’ but being a crowded mall I realised that people had seen me, but rather than stop and help they either:

  • laughed,
  • pointed and laughed,
  • pointed, laughed and walked right past me

One woman helped me up and asked me if I was OK. At that point I was more concerned about having dropped my camera and/or my laptop (they both survived). I rushed off to my class and when I sat down I realised my left knee (the already bad one) was aching. Great.

In the first half of Friday’s class we did portraits. We created a list of adjectives, such as: doubtful, shy, playful, serious, etc. We each had to pick an adjective, split into groups of two or three, and then try and capture that adjective in the portraits. It was harder than it sounds. We had to think about lighting, props, whether it would be more effective to fill the frame or to zoom out, what we wanted our subject to do, and so on. 

What our tutor had forgotten to tell us was that all these photos had to be shot in RAW format, rather than JPEG so that we could edit them in the second half. Just before the end of the break she realised and told us to take some quick photos of each other, it didn’t matter what we were doing! 

The second half of the class was fascinating. I’ve used Adobe Photoshop before, but this photo editing software was amazing. Just in terms of organising your photos into files makes the software worth experimenting with. I’m not sure I’m ready to fork out $300 on the full version just yet, but it is pretty smooth. One of the best things about Adobe Lightroom is that it doesn’t change your original RAW image – it remains in its original state forever. You can go back to the same image over and over again, change different things each time, save it every time, and still have the original version. 

We went through uploading photos, creating folders, renaming files, adding keywords, backing up (very important!). We also went through all the changes you can make – white balance, exposure, saturation, cropping, colour to black and white… I could spend hours playing around with this software.

Before I knew it, it was 6pm and my photography course was over and our certificates were being handed out. I still need a lot of practice with my camera though – I’m nowhere near an expert!

Read about weeks 1, 2 and 3.

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